Russell Brand made an impressive entrance at this year's 2009 MTV Video Music Awards: The host walked onstage accompanied by Katy Perry singing Queen's "We Will Rock You." And Katy was accompanied by Joe Perry (no relation) on guitar. For anybody who didn't recognize him, Perry is the founder of and guitarist for Aerosmith, the veteran arena rock band from Boston.
Perry has co-written and played solos on some of the biggest rock songs in history, including "Sweet Emotion," "Dream On" and "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)."
Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts (just outside of Boston), Perry formed Aerosmith with lead singer Steven Tyler and released the band's first album in 1973. The duo quickly became known as the "Toxic Twins" because of their rampant drug and alcohol abuse. After a series of hits in the '70s, the band had a rough transition into the '80s, mostly due to said substance abuse, and Perry left the band for a while. But when they sobered up, they came back with a vengeance in the late 1980s.
For hip-hop fans, Perry was at the front lines of one of the biggest crossover moments in hip-hop history: He played guitar on "Walk This Way," a collaboration between Aerosmith and Run-DMC that became not only a giant hit for the rappers but also a comeback hit for the band. The song originally appeared on Aerosmith's classic 1975 album, Toys in the Attic.
Since then, they've released a steady stream of hit albums and singles, including "Love in an Elevator" and the ballad "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." Perry has also done some solo work on the side and has a record coming out this October with his band the Joe Perry Project.
Though this year's Aerosmith tour had to be canceled because of injuries suffered by Tyler, the band soldiers on after 35 years in existence, and as his performance with Katy Perry tonight proved, Joe can still shred with the best of them.
The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards might have wrapped, but the party is far from over. Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes updates, party reports and much more.